Culture and sights
There is much to discover in a small space in Åland. The main island is no bigger than 45 km from north to south and 50 km from east to west. Its small size makes it easy to discover the whole of Åland.
Sightseeing in Åland means everything from the medieval Kastelholm castle and the maritime town, Mariehamn, with the sailing vessel Pommern, to all the fine museums and the beautiful archipelago. Don’t forget to experience Åland arts, crafts and designs.
5 things you must experience in Åland
You mustn’t miss Mariehamn on your trip – the islands’ capital which was named after Russian empress Maria Alexandrovna. The shipping town that is full of memories of voyages on the seven seas. Here you can go on to the s/v Pommern, smell the tar and get a real feel for the hard life at sea. Wander along idyllic small town streets, look at local art and crafts and have a coffee.
Please note that the four-masted barque Pommern is closed 2017−2018 due to the building of a dry dock and the change of the main deck. She will open its doors again in May 2019 with a completely new visitor experience. In the summer 2018 the ship will be open for the public on certain hours.
Or for the completely opposite experience, take an archipelago ferry to one of the 8 inhabited islands in the northern or southern archipelago. Experience a tiny village community, a little world in itself. Kökaris a good example. It has traces of a medieval ruined abbey to fire the imagination.
You’ll find more history at Kastelholm, the large 16th century castle in the middle of Åland’s main island. Gustav Vasa built the stronghold at a time when Åland lay in the middle of Sweden, strategically alongside the east-west route through the realm. Right by Kastelholm there are two truly fine 18-hole golf courses.
Eckerö is the most westerly point in Åland. This is where the ferries from Grisslehamn in Sweden dock. There is a rather magnificent Post and Customs House in Eckerö. It is an imposant building from a time when Eckerö was the terminal point in the world’s largest empire that stretched from Alaska in the east to Eckerö’s red granite rocks.
One of the most remarkable things to experience is sitting on the flat rocks and looking out over the sea. Sometimes you can see sea eagles soar by.You have a better chance of seeing a sea eagle in Åland than an elk in Sweden. Go to Geta, for example, or to any of the northern municipalities. Ask at the tourist information office for suggestions!
If you are interested in history, Åland offers many fine sights. The cultural sights are especially close to each other in the municipality of Sund. Here you can for example visit the fortress ruins of Bomarsund, the Kastelholm castle and Jan Karlsgårdens open air museum. In the archipelago we can recommendthe museum farm Hermas.
Don’t forget to visit the churches in Åland. There are a total of 16 churches in the island world and many of them are medieval. The church in Jomala is one of the oldest preserved stone churches in Finland. The youngest is S:t Görans Church in Mariehamn from 1927.
Take a guided tour when you visit Åland and discover all that the island world has to offer, maybe in the company of a skilled guide. A tour guide helps you find the golden nuggets and together you will visit all the interesting sights. You can also make a boat excursion, go kayaking och hiking or sample Åland’s own beer.